Supporters of fossil fuels in the House today blocked an amendment drafted by Congresswoman Mazie Hirono (HI-2) that would increase investments in clean energy innovation through the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).
The House Majority's Energy & Water Development Appropriations bill, being debated by Congress this week, provides $75 million less than last year's funding for the research and innovation sponsored by ARPA-E in projects like algae-based biofuels, energy grid technology and electric car batteries.
Instead, the bill increases fossil fuel research to $554 million, $207 million more than last year's funding and $133 million more than the President's request.
The Hirono amendment would have trimmed fossil fuel research to $420.6 million and used those savings to invest $333.4 million in ARPA-E research.
Even with this cut, fossil fuel research would receive $73 million more over last year's funding.
"When John F. Kennedy issued a challenge to America to send us to the moon, it was the investments in innovation that helped get us there, creating jobs and unlocking new technologies in the process," said Congresswoman Hirono. "Clean energy is our future. It makes no sense to cut research that can help end our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels.
"The people of Hawaii and Americans across the country want to see us take a balanced approach to our energy -- they want to see investments in their future. It's disappointing that this bill is putting less money into research of clean energy than of fossil fuels -- an industry that is mature."